The Mount Union Community Library honored the memory of one of its dedicated volunteers to launch into its eighth anniversary of independence.
The library board, while gathered for one of their regular meetings Wednesday afternoon, paused to remember Jane Wagner, fellow board member, who passed away Aug. 4 at age 70. Ms. Wagner would have celebrated her birthday Dec. 9.
Board president Pat Yagecic credits Ms. Wagner for taking on a pivotal role in the formation of the independent library which served as a branch of the Huntingdon County Library until 2011 when the county organization closed both the Mount Union and Orbisonia locations.
Rather than see the Mount Union branch fold, Ms. Wagner was among local residents, including Yagecic and the majority of the current board, who took on the process of shifting the library from a branch to its own free-standing entity. One task was particularly daunting.
“We inherited all the books,” Yagecic said. “But we didn’t inherit a circulation system.”
Ms. Wagner, she said, undertook the task of cataloguing every book on the library’s shelves into the new system. Yagecic points to “Jane’s Corner,” Ms. Wagner’s favorite spot in the tech station where she spent many hours at her task, now marked with a framed photo.
To further celebrate Ms. Wagner’s memory and service to the library, the board set up a display of her favorite authors — Stuart Woods and James Patterson — whose works she put on the library’s shelves through its “Adopt an Author” program. They also served lemon squares and chocolate brownies, her favorite sweets.
For the rest of the library’s anniversary week, Yagecic said it’s business as usual except for the week-long amnesty period for fines on overdue books and the annual children’s Christmas party scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday.
Visitors stopping by this week and for the rest of the month can enjoy the two Christmas trees on display featuring handmade ornaments created by the Mount Union Area High School Art Club. Ornaments are selling for $2 a piece and proceeds will go toward the purchase of an art book for the library’s children section, plus art club activities.
The day-to-day, Yagecic explained, is where the library really thrives, not just lending the latest best-sellers but providing computer and internet access, children’s programs and an environment where friendships and a love for learning can grow.
At present, the library hosts a book club which meets at 2 p.m. the third Tuesday of every month and an astronomy club which meets at 5 p.m. the second Tuesday of every month. Board members Cinda Imperioli and Vickie McMullen host a story hour for pre-schoolers at 11 a.m. every Thursday. The library partners with other groups, like the high school art club, for special events and endeavors.
Membership is over 2,000 — 2,056 to be exact as of Wednesday’s board meeting.
While membership has flourished, Yagecic said the library welcomes more folks to join in behind the scenes.
“We are looking for some more board members and for some new volunteers willing to give their time,” she said. “Our volunteers are amazing, I can’t say enough about them.”
The library’s year is winding down Yagecic said, noting they’re taking a break for the holidays starting Dec. 24. They will reopen in the new year Jan. 7.
Regular hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The library occupies two floors in the back of the Mount Union Borough Building on Market Street.
For more information, call 542-4572, go to mucl.net or visit Mount Union Community Library on Facebook.
Rebecca can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.